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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Tourette Patients with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity Improve on Gluten-Free Diet

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Could Tourette syndrome and non-celiac gluten sensitivity be related? a team of researchers recently set out to assess the efficacy of a gluten-free diet in patients with Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome GTS. The research team then evaluated patient progres


    Caption: Image: CC--stephen frith

    Celiac.com 05/07/2018 - Pursuing a hypothesis that Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS) and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) may be related, a team of researchers recently set out to assess the efficacy of a gluten-free diet in 29 patients with Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome GTS in a prospective pilot study. The research team then evaluated patient progress after one year on a gluten-free diet. 

    The research team included Luis Rodrigo, Nuria Álvarez, Enrique Fernández-Bustillo, Javier Salas-Puig, Marcos Huerta, and Carlos Hernández-Lahoz. To establish a baseline of conditions, the team used a series of questionnaires, including YGTSS, Y-BOCS/CY-BOCS and GTS-QOL, which they then compared before and after the gluten-free diet. 

    The YGTSS questionnaires measured tics, while the Y-BOCS/CY-BOCS questionnaires measured the intensity and frequency of OCD. The study group included 23 children and 6 adults. In all, 74% of children and 50% of adults were male. When the study began, nearly 70% of children and 100% of adults showed OCD (NS).  Both groups showed frequent symptoms of NCGS, with nearly half of the children and 83.6% of adults reporting headaches. 

    After one year of gluten-free diet, both child and adult patients showed a substantial reduction in tics (YGTSS), a reduction in the intensity and frequency of OCD, along with improved QOL measurements. 

    This study showed that both children and adults with Tourette syndrome and non-celiac gluten sensitivity who followed a gluten-free diet for one year showed a significant reduction in tics and OCD. A gluten-free diet seems to reduce tics and OCD both in both children and adults with Tourette syndrome and gluten sensitivity. 

    Clearly larger studies are needed to confirm these finding, but this is exciting news for those with Tourette syndrome and the doctors who treat them. Meantime, the number of conditions that seem to improve with gluten-free diet treatment continues to grow. Stay tuned for more developments.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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